Cannabis extracts remain classified as dangerous drugs after federal court ruling siding with DEA

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A federal appeals court dealt a blow this week to makers of CBD-rich cannabis extracts who were trying to stop the DEA from classifying their products as dangerous drugs.

A panel of judges for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals shot down the hemp industry’s challenge of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration rule that established coding for “marihuana extracts.” DEA officials said the code was intended to track cannabis derivatives used in research and meet treaty obligations, adding that these extracts and byproducts remained classified Schedule I substances that the government says have no accepted medical use in the U.S., such as heroin, LSD, peyote and ecstasy.

Hemp-industry leaders, represented by Denver-based cannabis law firm Hoban Law Group, challenged the DEA’s rule and alleged the agency overstepped its bounds by scheduling substances that had not been classified before. The rule could be misinterpreted by other federal and local agencies, lead to unlawful product seizures and chill a booming multibillion-dollar hemp products industry, Hoban attorneys had alleged.